Starter help please!

Ms Monny

Evening all. What beautiful sunshine today - didn't get ironing done but my garden
is looking pretty good.

I need some help with my starter. I put my 2 cups of freshly milled wholewheat flour and 2 cups of spring (bottled) still
water into my glass bowl, covered it with cheesecloth and put it into an open shed (wood shed) for a day. It was
out of the sun but warmish.

I bought it in and it has been standing on my tv (much to my hubby's delight - not!! ) for the last 4 days. I live
in the Adelaide Hills and it isn't really hot but mild weather. We have a combustion fire going every night still.
Nothing has happened at all and I am wondering what I should have done.

I have read somewhere about putting honey into the starter for the wild yeasts to enjoy, how much though?
Should I leave it outside or inside?

I am going to keep trying until I capture the little blighters!!

Hope someone can help me in this matter. Also, I did ask about 'well' water. Basically it is spring water in a well. Would
that hurt or not???


232 users have voted.


Ms Monny 2007 August 27

Update on the starter!

It was looking spongy but had a little furry thing growing in the middle and the smell wasn't a yeasty
smell. It wasn't an off smell but I didn't think it was good to use so I threw it.

So, to start again! I might try some honey this time and leave it outside more than one day. Any helpers?????


Jake 2007 August 27

Patience is the key! I've just started my own starter as well. It's taken close to a month to really get going (part of the reason is probably that I haven't been looking after it all that well, skipping the odd daily feeding...). I just use plain old ordinary flour from the supermarket (any flour should do the trick) and tapwater (which is heavily chlorinated over here). This might be the reason why it's been a bit slow in the coming, but the point is, I think, that it is coming. You don't have to leave it uncovered or add honey. The main thing is to keep it warm (I've placed mine in the hotwater cupboard) and have patience, I think. And when you see it starting to bubble, to feed it. You should see some signs after a week or two. Perseverance is the key. Good luck!


matthew 2007 August 27


I started mine with organic Rye chops and bottled water, moving onto rye flour and then wheat flour over the next couple of days (as described in the Bread Builders by Dan Wing - Check out your local library for a copy). Warmth, patience and feeding after some bubbly activity is present will get results. You should find that after a few days the time it takes for bubbly activity to take place will get shorter and the bubbly activity will get greater. If you are feeding equal weights of flour and water to starter (i.e tripling weight) it should be able to double in volume within 8 hours if it is ready to use.

That would also be my other recommendation - measuring feeds by weight rather than volume removes a variable and enables more consistency.


Ms Monny 2007 August 28

Thanks Jake and Matthew.

What about the furry thing on the top? Do I just scrap it off and hope for the best?

Like I said, it wasn't a bad smell but I guess I don't know what the smell should be like. I haven't got a very good
warm place (hot water system is in the roof) so I might have to make one - a light in a foam box! (read that somewhere
here in the forum).

After a few days and it starts to bubble, do I then start to feed it? If I have 2 cups flour and 2 cups water (bottled) to
start with, can I just feed it 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup water??? I presume I throw/give some away first.

I certainly am looking forward to my books arriving. I am going to my local but very small community library today to
check out what they have.


matthew 2007 August 28


Try Dom's beginners blog for detailed instructions on making a starter from scratch [url][/url]. If you keep scrolling down to the bottom you'll get to the sourdough from scratch blog. It has detailed instructions and pictures. There are also a number of other blogs with detailed help on baking sourdough bread.

Have fun.


Ms Monny 2007 August 29

Fantastic, thanks Matthew!!!!

Exactly what I was looking for. Well, wish my luck on my Sourdough journey. I will keep you posted as to my


matthew 2007 August 30


It's Dom who deserves the thanks after taking the time to create those blogs.

Good luck! You'll have a lot of fun I'm sure.


Ms Monny 2007 August 30

Thanks Dom!!!

On that note, I have tried to get into the 'learn' part on this website and I only end up with a 'test' page stating
'everythings fine'!!!

Can you (Matthew) or Dom let me know how to obtain this information? I gave it my username and email address,
but I still can't log on.


P.S. I was in NZ in 2000 and absolutely loved every minute of it!! You have a wonderful and diverse place!!!

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